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Wednesday, June 6, 2012 - 4:20pm

Fish Kill Linked To Drought

Updated: 2 years ago.
The Georgia Environmental Protection Division says the latest fish kill in the Ogeechee River is likely due to the drought. But officials say an exact cause will never be known. ( photo courtesy of the Savannah Riverkeeper)

The Georgia Environmental Protection Division says the latest fish kill in the Ogeechee River is likely due to the drought. But officials say an exact cause will never be known.

The 12 fish found around Memorial Day died of bacterial infections brought on by stress. Tim Barrett is with the state Wildlife Resources Division.

"Rivers in southern Georgia are all stressed right now. These stressors are cumulative on these fish and sometimes they get to the point where they can't take anymore. And one thing will push them over the edge and make them susceptible to a pathogen like this."

Last year, 38 thousand fish died in the Ogeechee. The state found the King America plant in Screven County to be illegally discharging chemicals into the river.

The State Environmental Protection Division tested the water after the latest fish kill for ammonia, formaldehyde and other chemicals.The EPD found the river is meeting water quality standards. Officials also found that the King America plant is operating in compliance with current requirements.

The EPD says daily toxicity testing of the plant's effluent discharge and weekly toxicity testing of in-stream water is conducted and there are no indications of problems with toxicity.